Archive for November, 2007

The effing idiots at Blogger are to blame!!!

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Update to my last post: I realised that the only pictures I was trying to open in a new tab were from Blogger. So I went there, and looked at “known issues”. It’s Blogger that’s doing it, not my computer.

I am about ready to effing SCREAM!

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I was using Flock and Firefox tonight as browsers (both with the Mozilla engine), and all of a sudden, if I right-clicked on a photo to open it in a new tab, I got the “Open this file with…” dialog and it wanted me to open it in L-View (the image editor I use most often). WTF??? WTEFFINGF?? Why are both of them doing that?

I really need to lock my computer when not using it, as HWMBO and houseguests often use it and abuse it.

Anyone got any ideas about how I can force Firefox and Flock to just open the image in a new tab, like it used to? Please? What happened??

Happy Birthday, <lj user=”mousez72″>

Friday, November 30th, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day

Happy birthday to <lj user=”boyshapedbox”>

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

(HBTY) * 2, HBD, HBTY!

And many happy returns of the day! I hope your party is fabulous! We all expect pictures.

Today’s Senator Tapper McWidestance Post

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

We haven’t heard much from Senator Tapper McW for a while now…however, that will change when you go here.

Especially for <lj user=”trawnapanda”>

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

…comes an item that would not only fit into the OLPFRSC, but would also give him a daily focus of worship during breakfast.

Today’s EuroWord is:

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007


One of the items of business in the European Parliament today is: “report on common principles on flexicurity.”

I think I know what it means, but I’m quite afraid of it as well.

Sad meeting tonight

Monday, November 26th, 2007

I am making this friends only, and I hope you’ll all keep mum about it, but I do have to blog about it.

As a member of the Diocesan Board of Finance, one of the things that I might be called on to do is sit on an appeal board to hear an appeal from dismissal by a member of the Diocesan Staff. That’s what I had to do tonight. Luckily it doesn’t happen often.

My archdeacon, and a fellow lay chair were also on the panel.

The case concerned a staff member who was dismissed for gross negligence for lying about something that he was supposed to be doing in his job but wasn’t doing. I can’t say any more about that.

I won’t say any more about the case, but we will need to meet again to consider further evidence, and there may be repercussions for the Diocese beyond this case. It’s quite worrying. Prayers for the Diocese and for the people concerned would be welcome.

Once the case has been decided, I’ll say some more. Right now I have to email some people about it.

Birthdays all ’round

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Happy birthday to and ! Many happy returns of the day to you both.

Recent events

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

Well, yay for Australia! Hopefully there are only two reactionary conservative parties left to be swept out of power in the Western world: Republicans, and Labour. It will be even better if Howard lost his seat (I think it’s still in doubt at the moment). Of course, he’ll then do a Tony Blair and give speeches to rooms full of little old blue haired ladies at $100,000 a pop or so. They can have him. Now we’ll see whether Prime Minister Rudd will do a good job. I’m hoping so; I’d like to visit Australia and it would be nicer if a good Government were in place.

Singapore is mourning the loss of the 5 men from the crew of a dragonboat that was racing in Cambodia. Please pray for the repose of their souls. I believe that some of my LiveJournal friends knew these men personally and to them I offer my condolences and e-hugs.

The big news here over this week is two-fold. First, the England national soccer team was beaten by Croatia 3-2 and thus is no longer in the European soccer championship tournament. There has been much recrimination, the manager has been fired, and the poisoned chalice that is the managership of the England squad has been turned down by two very senior experienced managers from commercial soccer teams.

I’m happy as it will mean a quiet summer, with few if any drunken louts either celebrating the national team’s wins or drowning their sorrows over the national team’s loss.

The second big piece of news, closer to my own specialty, is the fact that two CDs containing Child Benefit information with names, account numbers, bank names, National Insurance numbers, and children’s names was mailed by regular intergovernmental post from HM Customs & Revenue in Washington, Tyne and Wear, to the National Audit Office in London. They never arrived. They were not encrypted, but were password protected. There is now a frenzy at the banks, with people calling to change their account numbers.

Child Benefit is paid to all families with young children in the United Kingdom. So even very wealthy people may have their details on that list.

The government’s line is that a junior clerk (pronounced “clark” here) did this without authorisation. This clerk, a 23-year old man, has been moved to a room in a hotel with a 24-hour guard^Wminder to keep him away from the media. I expect that the newspapers this week will find out both who he is, and will get him to talk. The National Audit Office told the HMRC that they didn’t want account numbers and such, only a few non-specific details. Someone at HMRC replied that it would be too expensive to remove the superfluous information. The head of HMRC has retired/resigned to take responsibility for this. The government says that the banks will cover any losses traceable to fraudulent use of this information. The banks are saying, “Hold on just a minute, you caused the problem, perhaps you should pay.” It’s all good fun.

The Brown government seems to be made up of stumblebums, always falling over another crisis and not quite being able to handle it. I look forward to the next one that will come along (perhaps another tranche of Northern Rock banking money going down the toilet) I rejoiced when they said to me, “Gordon Brown is having another crisis he can’t handle.” I expect he’ll blow up at a reporter in his next news conference, or be reduced to showing himself to be the stuttering stumbling packet of hot air that he has so far been able to hide at Prime Minister’s Questions.

The LibDem leadership ballot came through the letterbox this week. I voted for Huhne. The better of the two, in my opinion. Much better than Ming the Merciless.

I ordered a cassock and cotta this afternoon. The Vicar of St John’s Larcom Street has been saying that my monastic alb looks like a sack of potatoes when I’m wearing it. I disagreed, but broke down and decided to get measured for it. Our friend Simon, who is an honorary curate there, did the honours and hopefully I’ll have it before Christmas, or at least before the end of January. It has no slot at the front for a collar, as I’m not entitled to wear one, but otherwise is identical to a priest’s cassock. The cotta is long, trimmed with braid. A cotta is a surplice with a square collar that’s usually used at the Eucharist (whereas the surplice, with a round collar, is used at the Divine Office). I have been wearing my alb with a biretta when in the sanctuary for a preaching assignment, and that looks rather bizarre. Cassock and cotta will look much better with a biretta. It was about

Happy birthday, mikiefresh

Sunday, November 25th, 2007

from Many happy returns of the day! And get up, get out, and get something!

Happy birthday <lj user=”levistud”>

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

…and many hapy returns of the day.

My week and welcome to it

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

Well, it’s been a pretty loud week in Lake Elephant and Castle. The only evening that I wasn’t particularly busy was Monday, and that was spent thinking about my sermon to be delivered tomorrow. No results until Saturday afternoon, I’m afraid.

Tuesday evening we had Lodge of Instruction, and Wednesday our Lodge meeting, where we initiated a new Brother. As a fairly new Freemason, I always love to see another man taking his first regular step in Freemasonry. If any of you have ever wondered what it would be like to be a Mason, take it from me, it’s interesting, fulfilling, and a real privilege to become a member of the oldest fraternal organisation in the world. I can’t say much more about it, of course, except to say that the efforts put in by my brother the Junior Deacon, and the Worshipful Master, were absolutely spectacular, along with the Inner Guard, making his debut in that post.

Wednesday morning I had a job interview at a arge investment bank in the City for a Quality Manager’s job. This would be a very interesting post, I suppose, and carries the title of Asst. Vice President (of course, Vice Presidents are a dime a dozen at investment banks). The employment agent sent me to the wrong building, so I cooled my heels there, hoping that I wouldn’t bump into any of the consultants from my company who are working at this investment bank. Luckily, I didn’t. The pimp^Wemployment agent thinks there will be a second interview.

Thursday and Friday were spent thinking about my sermon (still no luck), and writing a prayer for the beginning of Bishop’s Council today. The American Book of Common Prayer is wonderful for things of that sort, and I only added some leaven to the lump that I got therefrom.

Bishop’s Council today was interesting; we had a presentation on child protection and a lively debate about lay participation in synods and the Council. It’s quite an interesting question, and clerics need to stop and think about the effect that trying to drown out the voices of laity has on the councils of the Church of England.

I finally got an idea for my sermon, and wrote it this evening when I got back from Bishop’s Council. Tomorrow, St. John’s Larcom Street, then (I hope) rest and relaxation. HWMBO has other ideas, though: we got a Dyson vacuum cleaner, and I think he sees vacuuming all the carpets in the house as my penance for spending money on it. I will have to cook bangers and mash tomorrow, however; cooked some of Tesco’s “economy” line bangers and mash one evening last week and they were palpable for several hours afterwards. Real bangers and mash will be lovely and a good way to cheer us all up after a busy week.

Today’s WTF? URL

Monday, November 19th, 2007

You’ve heard of the Calendar Girls? Well, here’s one you probably wouldn’t forget if you saw her. No pic, I fear.

My week and welcome to it

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

It’s been a busy week in Lake Southwark. Monday and Tuesday evenings were pretty quiet, but Wednesday, of course, was yoga, and Thursday night was the Business Committee of Bishop’s Council.

I’m finding it difficult to remember what went on all week, I’m afraid. This is a consequence of commuting daily to Canary Wharf, the huge financial services area in the formerly derelict dock area of East London. You squeeze into an Underground car with hundred of people dressed in suits, go four stops and then kind of burst out of the car in a bunch, ready to face the day, such as it is. Then, at night, reverse the procedure. I’ve started to walk to Waterloo in the morning and walk home from London Bridge at night. This, at least, will help my weight a bit. Later on I might try walking to Westminster, which is a bit further away.

At the Business Committee meeting, I was asked to say the prayer before the Bishop’s Council meeting next Saturday. I will try to resist making an overt statement with the prayer, although I would like to make a point about the laity being coequal with the clergy in the governance of the Church. We always have a laugh at the Business Committee meetings, and this one was no exception. There was quite a cheesy video from the C of E’s “Vatican” (Church House) about marriage in the C of E, which managed to get away with showing no one other than lower middle class white people being married in church. That is so far from the reality in this Diocese that it’s risible. We hooted all through the whole thing, and then decided to show it to the entire membership of Bishop’s Council so they could hoot a bit too.

The bishop leaned back in his chair to display a set of deep red braces, emblazoned with the Parliamentary symbol of the portcullis on it–House of Lords braces, in fact. I didn’t know such a thing existed, and I’ll have to ask my MP when next I see him whether he has or can get a pair of House of Commons braces, with portcullis but in green.

We went to The Well yesterday and the waitress asked us whether we’d like some Korean Dumpling soup, a special reserved for their regular customers. We agreed, and it was quite delicious: dumplings filled with some kind of vegetable puree floating in a clear broth along with various bamboo shoot and other vegetable bits and garlic. Wonderful.

Today we’re off to see the Louise Bourgeois exhibit at Tate Modern, and then God only knows where…tomorrow, it’s St. Anne’s for me and a meeting, and the week will close.

Today’s Commercial URL

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

Many of you will be familiar with Orangina, the French soft drink which is lightly carbonated and has lots of organge pieces in it.

Well, here’s a bit of bestial advertising for it. Don’t miss the squid.

Happy birthday, <lj user=”c_nairda”>

Saturday, November 17th, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day.

Today’s Hygiene URL

Friday, November 16th, 2007

We all know that the Japanese are a bit, well, obsessive when it comes to the toilet. Well, it starts out fairly young…

Do remember not to have anything to drink or eat while watching this for I suspect you may find yourself trying to dry your keyboard out.

Happy birthday, <lj user=”runecircle”>

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day.

Today’s Patriotic Meme

Sunday, November 11th, 2007
Which country should you REALLY be living in?

The United Kingdom

You have pride in yourself and pride in your country. You believe that history and culture is an important factor to the future of your country, and that traditions and values should be upheld. The UK is where you should be…

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Well, they got it right for once…

Do not watch this while drinking ANYTHING!

Sunday, November 11th, 2007


I laughed until I cried. Thanks to ronslog.

Belly meme

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

I don’t often respond to memes, but posted one that I couldn’t resist. However, I shall post it under a cut in case you are sensitive.

Post a picture of your belly, and post it in your Livejournal.

I shan’t tag anyone.

The Good Deed for Today

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

I have often spoken of mikiefresh in this venue; he’s a lifecaster who, along with his two friends, is making a website for their graphic design business. It’s called illbuzz, and I urge you to go there if you have needs in the graphic design, business or personal cards (or even contact cards–you know, business cards with only your nickname and your mobile phone number on them that you give out to potential dates in a bar or other venue), or brochures or all sorts of things.

When I found out the site had gone live, I went there and immediately went into a frenzy of bug chasing, documenting, and fixing with Mikie and one of his partners, Andres. I spent two hours on MSN and Yahoo! getting things fixed up, and it looks and works really well now.

My hat’s off to them, as they’re trying to use their God-given talents to make a living. So drop by and look at their site and their products.

It made me feel good as not only was I helping them out, but I was doing some software testing again. Nowadays I mostly do software test management (which is a totally different thing) and hardly ever get the chance to look for or find bugs. So I really enjoyed it.

(I was order number 1, by the way!)

Hell week

Friday, November 9th, 2007

As promised, here’s my week. On Monday, I felt I had to go to the gym after work. So, when I got home I just crashed. Tuesday was two events. The first one was the diocesan Audit Committee. This meets at noon, for two hours. It’s always interesting, as I’m able to ask awkward questions and they have to at least make a stab at answering them. So I took the Jubilee Line to London Bridge, then back. I took three hours for lunch, and made it up on Wednesday, of which more soon. That evening I went to Goliath’s Lodge of Instruction. It was a great evening, but it’s at Kenton, which is almost at the other end of the Bakerloo Line. We had a great time (I stood in for the Master, reading from the book but not making too many mistakes. I got home at 10:30 or so, and fell into bed.

Wednesday is Yoga Night, so I decided to spend two extra hours at work (to make up for Tuesday noon) and go directly to the gym for the 8 pm yoga class. I decided to travel on the Jubilee Line to Green Park and transfer to the Victoria Line to get to Vauxhall. Well, I got to Green Park, and there was a Victoria Line train there, but because of a signal failure on the northbound side, the trains were stopped. We waited for a while, then we crawled to Victoria, where we stood for about 10 minutes more then were told that the train was out of service. I was disgusted, so I decided to go out and look for a bus. They were too mobbed, so I ended up walking from Victoria to Vauxhall, grumbling all the way. Bad vibes to do yoga with. I found that not eating dinner first (before 6 pm) was a mistake, as I was exhausted and couldn’t do very well. The instructor was late too (not his fault) and we ended up finishing at 9:25 pm, then by the time I showered and got to the bus stop, the next bus was at 10:04. I got home at about 10:20 pm, ate some toast, and fell into bed.

Thursday (besides being my birthday) was Goliath Chapter (Holy Royal Arch). This takes place in Southgate, which is almost at the northern end of the Piccadilly Line. To get there for between 4:30 and 4:45, I looked at the Transit for London website and determined that 1-1/2 hours would be more than sufficient. I left work with my regalia case at 3:30 pm. The website recommended that I change at London Bridge from the Jubilee Line to the Northern Line northbound. So I did that, and got to King’s Cross/St. Pancras in good time, where I changed to the Piccadilly Line. After waiting for 5 minutes, a train arrived which was packed to the gills and which was only going to Arnos Grove, one stop before Southgate. This train crawled up the line, with occasional apologies from the driver that there “was congestion ahead”). At last, Arnos Grove at 4:45 pm. One train arrived going northbound. We got on, and after 5 minutes the driver apologised and said that his train was going out of service, and we should wait for the next one. Finally, the next one arrived and it too was crammed to the gills. I arrived at the Masonic Centre at 5 pm, ran up the stairs, and ended up waiting for 15 minutes before the meeting started. There was no candidate, so we were treated to four lectures, which were interesting, and a little bit of business, and thus to dinner. The appetiser was a bit of greenery, 1/4 of a hardboiled egg, and three kinds of pickled/smoked fish. Ick. The entree was scalloped turkey, which was like a slab and looked like the turkey had expired many years ago. Tasted like it too. I almost ended up with fish, as the person who arranged the dinners seems to have gotten the amounts wrong. We got out early-ish (about 8:45 pm) and I got home at about 10 pm, at which point I fell into bed. (See a pattern here??)

Tonight, blessedly, HWMBO is going to take me out to dinner, so I am waiting for him to arrive home. I have been able to look at a bit of email tonight; I might catch up tomorrow.

EXCEPT, Diocesan Synod is tomorrow from 9:30 am until about 4 pm. At that point, Hell Week will officially be over. Sunday I will collapse and, I hope, recover before next week’s trials.

Today’s Camelot URL?

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Well, it’s a sad day for British pedagogy when the punters have difficulty in figuring out whether they’ve won or not…

Today’s School News URL

Friday, November 9th, 2007

If you were a junior in high school, and someone decided to surprise you with a singing telegram for your birthday while you were in class, you might be slightly embarrassed. But if you got this, it might be a different story.

PS. For the record, no one sent me any telegrams, singing or not, yesterday.

My birthday yesterday

Friday, November 9th, 2007

I will post about Hell Week tonight, but I was a bit sad that no one remembered my birthday except HWMBO, and . Well, I got a bright idea and went to look at my profile, and while it said that everyone could see my birthday, it also said “don’t show it”. Faugh! I have now remedied that.

Anyway, I was 55 years old on November 8th. HWMBO and I celebrate with dinner tonight. More in my next post.

Today’s Bollywood Video

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

You may remember the subtitled Songs of Praise I posted a while ago.

Well, someone’s at it again…they’ve done it to a Bollywood vampire movie. Watch it and make sure you aren’t drinking anything…

Have an appointment at Cardiology this morning…

Monday, November 5th, 2007

…and hopefully I’ll be released from their care to my GP. I’ve not had any chest pain since the heart attack, and I try to exercise regularly and eat more moderately. Good thoughts would be appreciated.

In order to bring my blood pressure down I’ll have to lose lots of weight, as medications don’t seem to be doing it. I’m going to go to a bariatric surgeon within the next few months and see about the duodenal resection operation which not only help you lose weight, it also helps control or even cure your diabetes. I’m going private, as the NHS would not be likely to approve it for me.

Especially for <lj user=”keith_london”>

Monday, November 5th, 2007

…who once asked if I’d be as condemnatory of a Democrat caught in a toilet sting as I was of Senator Tapper McWidestance (blog passim).

Well, according to ronslog, the minor Florida politician arrested in this sting operation is a Democrat.

I don’t like sting/bait operations, in general, but whether they’re Republicans (more commonly) or Democrats, politicians should be cautious about going into men’s toilets trolling for sex. And people should be encouraged to go to bathhouses or saunas for their anonymous sex. It’s convenient and relatively safe, even if you’re married, or a Democrat.

As for the cops, perhaps in Daytona Beach they should be going after violent criminals instead.

Today’s Advertising Spot

Monday, November 5th, 2007

…is from . Apparently the voiceover was double-recorded. The one that showed on TV was the first, but the voiceover guy recorded another one, heard here. Enjoy!

But, if you’re at work, make sure your headphones are on. You have been warned!

Thoughtless clergy

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

As regular readers of this blog will know, I am constantly in despair over the Rector of St. Matthew’s. He is a lazy loafer, not bothering to have any weekday services at all; he fancies himself a liturgist but, not consulting any of the laity in the parish, he just copies things he fancies out of books rather than bothering to get anyone’s opinions or use any of the talent we have in the parish. He knows what I think of him but has decided not to bother to speak to me unless he has to (which is fine; I probably would hesitate even to piss on him were he to be in flames, which he almost was this morning–but I digress). He is a bully, and, I believe, not a good administrator and certainly not a good leader.

Instead of having a dedicated Eucharist on All Souls Day, November 2, in which we pray for all the dear departed relatives and friends we have lost, he conflates it with All Saints Sunday, so that he doesn’t have to haul himself over to the church on November 2 and actually do some work during the week. One of the things he does is have members of the congregation light votive candles at the altar to represent prayers for their own departed loved ones. We have a large terra cotta dish in which I place the votive lights. I expected that he would light one in the dish and leave it there.

Instead, he lit one and then put it on the altar cloth! That is the altar cloth from which I have to spend hours removing wax stains just from the two candles placed on the altar at Mass–I have to rush to blow the candles out after Mass because if the kids get to them first, they do not shield the candle flame while blowing it out and blow the wax all over the altar cloth.

I was livid! He is thoughtless, stupid, and careless. If he had to remove the wax from the altar cloth, he might think twice about putting a votive candle on it that is almost bound to sputter and throw wax all over the cloth. I had to watch helplessly as 20 people put votive lights on the altar, just as he had done.

Two parishioners helped by putting all the candles back in the terra cotta dish during the Peace, and I’m grateful for that, but I’m still very annoyed. How could someone with any sense do something like that?

Later on, while administering Communion, we had to put the whole terra cotta dish on the altar to save the Rector from catching on fire as he passed the table it normally lays on.

Jesus wept.

Happy birthday, <lj user=”merman13″>

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

…and many happy returns of the day!

Why I’ve both gotten a raise and not gotten a raise

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

The US dollar is really tanking these days. This morning I looked at my exchange rate email and discovered that the USD/GBP exchange rate is 2.089/1.00!

When I first started receiving these emails, in July of 1998, the exchange rate was 1.657/1.00.

In 2001, my new salary with Searchspace is the same as my salary with my current employer (yes, I know, it’s not for want of trying for more). However, my US dollar salary has increased by $25,000 just because of the Chimp-in-Chief and his pulling the chain and flushing the US dollar down the world toilet.

My US tax return will become infinitely more challenging (although I’ll still not pay any US taxes, as far as I am aware) because I’ll have to offset US taxes owed on my salary above $84,000 with the taxes paid to Her Majesty the Queen. I’ll probably have to use a paid preparer this year. Rats!

The other consequence is that friends whom I have not seen in a long time can no longer afford to travel to the UK because the exchange rate is so bad. Of course, the Chimp-in-Chief doesn’t care, because he doesn’t like foreigners and probably feels that Americans shouldn’t travel abroad.

Another reason to renounce my US citizenship.

This week and welcome to it…

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

I realise I haven’t blogged all week, so here comes a brain spew.

Monday I had an appointment with the quack. She gave me the name of a bariatric surgeon to speak to about a duodenal resection. This not only will help you lose weight but also seems to nearly cure diabetes. I’ve had it with being fat and diabetic, so later on this month I’m going to make an appointment, go private, and see what can be done.

Monday night we had a Woolwich Area Forum, where we discussed as a group of mixed laity and clergy the recent Woolwich Area Clergy Conference. I tried to hold up the laity’s end of things…it’s difficult sometimes.

Tuesday I went to meet the cochair of the Lammas Lands Defense Committee, and we talked about the website.

Wednesday was yoga night. The class is getting a bit more adventurous, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I’ve decided not to eat as much, so I’m having a salad with cottage cheese and a hardboiled egg for lunch at the Big Investment Bank and a salad for dinner, usually.

Tonight we went to The Well for dinner, and I had soup and roast pork with rice. I didn’t feel like finishing the rice.

My glamourous life, such as it is.

One strange thing has happened this week. I got a notice of a comment in a very old LiveJournal post. I took a look, and it purported to be from one Olly Comyn, the publisher of the Economist, who noted that I had mentioned in my blog that I wasn’t receiving my Economist because of the postal strike. He couldn’t find me in their database somehow, and was wondering why I hadn’t availed myself of their offer to reimburse me (by adding issues to the end of my subscription) if I bought my copy in the newsagent. He asked me for my phone number so that he could apologise in person.

I thought it was a joke, or spam, or phishing. I responded that I preferred not to give out my phone number, and that an email apology was sufficient. He wrote back, apologising profusely, said that they were still trying to track me down in their database, and offered to send me the issues (by then it was four issues) that I had missed.

Now I’ve been reading the Economist for about 20 years, but I was absolutely gobsmacked. The publisher of a major international newspaper took the time to email me personally (not once, not twice, but four times) to ensure that I was happy with my subscription and didn’t feel upset at the strike-lost magazines. Now I had no intention of blaming them for something that wasn’t their fault, of course, but I’ve got to say, this man knows not only how to publish a first-rate magazine, but knows about how to keep customers happy. I’ll not let my subscription lapse until I’m so old, blind, deaf, and gaga that it won’t mean anything to me any more.

Of course, today is Friday, Economist and Church Times day, and I didn’t get either…but I’ve been assured that if the Economist arrives on Monday or later I can inform the publisher and he’ll extend my subscription and take it up with Royal Mail.

A birthday present URL for <lj user=”trawnapanda”>

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

This is something that I’m sure our Frozen Northern Ailuropod remembers fondly. Maybe he even got one for his birthday, half a century ago or so…

Did I say that, for one week, and one week only, said ailuropod and I will be


Everyone got that?

Great. Many happy returns of the day.

Today’s Halloween Story

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

…from Cynthia G, in another venue…

We all love to travel, and vampires, too, need their rest and relaxation. So Count Dracula went on a tour of Europe. Having not had  a meal since he’d left the homeland of Transylvania, he was very glad when a town constable knocked on his  hotel door and asked the count to show him his passport. It didn’t take Dracula long to grab the policemen and suck every drop of blood out of him.
Now Dracula was faced with a problem. “How do I dispose of this body?” he wondered. The only solution he could come up with was to throw the new corpse out the window “I’m so high up, they’ll never trace the body back to me. Ha ha,” he cackled. So ­ whoosh — out the window went the corpse.
It just so happens that right below that window was the customary station of an itinerant street singer. Bang! The singer got hit right on his noggin by the falling body and was knocked unconscious.
Back in his hotel room Dracula was in the mood for “dessert,” so he rang room service and asked the front desk to send up another town constable. Ten minutes later the policeman arrived and Dracula invited him in.
As soon as the door shut, Dracula pounced, devoured his fresh and steaming “dessert,” Again the count wondered “How do I get rid of the body?” and then thought, ‘Well, it worked once. Why not again?’ So out the window went his latest victim.
At that moment the street singer below had just regained consciousness and was wondering what the heck was going on. His consciousness didn’t last long, however, as he was instantly knocked out cold by Count Dracula’s second victim.
Some time later the singer woke up and saw that a small crowd had gathered around. As he regained his bearings, one of the onlookers asked, “What’s happened here?”
“It’s terrible,” sang the street singer. “Drained cops keep falling on my head!